I tried to open my eyes in the dimly lit room. My head pounded as powerful drugs worked their way through my system. I groaned and when I tried to rise I realized I was strapped down to the bed. I pulled with all my strength but the straps held. Several questions floated through my head like angry storm clouds, the most puzzling one; why was I still alive? I had after all shot the director of the agency. My only hope was that I had killed the lying bastard. My boss, my lover had betrayed me and left to die.
I panicked and pulled harder at the straps I was alone and helpless wherever they had stashed me. At that moment I realized my career with the agency was over, more than likely my life.
I’ve always been a big girl, just a hair under 6 feet. I guess I have the attitude to go with it. Growing up I was teased and called an amazon by the girls and the boys were just plain intimidated by me. It didn’t help that I was a natural athlete.
I spent the majority of my childhood alone with my books lost in the excitement and adventure of exotic places. One day in High school I was approached by someone from the agency. It was the beginning of my life and the end. My size and strength became an asset instead of a liability and the fact I was smoking hot helped my get away with murder…literally.
My life had been like Cinderella’s growing up except the people abusing me were my own flesh and blood. Maybe that was the kind of childhood it took to push someone over the edge and become a killer. The lack of maternal love and nurturing. There is no nice way to gloss over what I do… have done. Maybe I was just born this way.
Nature or nurture I wasn’t sure what was the driving force behind my “unnatural and unladylike” behavior as my mother called it. All I knew was I had no plans on passing this on to the next generation and I took care of that long ago. There was nothing like being betrayed and left to die by the one you love to make me want to run and crawl into the nearest hole and retreat from this so-called humanity. But I couldn’t that wasn’t my nature. No matter how bad things got, I fought on. Was it my competitive nature or out of spitefulness. I was here and I was survivor here to stay.
I didn’t like being strapped to this damn bed. I need action, to keep busy because when I stop my mind wanders and I get all introspective and dark. I pulled at the straps again and collapsed back onto the bed…now I had to pee.
I knew this wasn’t going to be a good day when the man I hated most walked through the door, now I guess he was the second most hated man since Brian betrayed me. “You’re lucky to be alive you know.”
I shrugged as best I could in my predicament. “Do you mean because I survived the suicide mission he sent me on or because I was sloppy and didn’t kill him when I got home?” I knew he wasn’t dead and I don’t think killing him was actually my intention or he would have been dead. I didn’t make mistakes like that or I would have been out of the agency one way or another.
“The only reason you are still alive is because someone stepped in on your behalf.” He was a smug bastard and I always wanted to kick his ass somewhere other than the training ring. He made the mistake of thinking he could beat me because I was a girl. He never bothered me after that. I offered to pay for the dental work he needed but he refused, go figure.
That puzzled me I had no real friends there. I stopped making them years ago. It was just too hard for me to invest emotions into a relationship and then lose that person when their mission went south. Pain like that makes you shut down and close yourself off and I couldn’t be any more emotionally isolated than I already was…except for Brian. He was the director and a smooth talker. I never had to worry about him leaving one day and not coming home. I didn’t realize I had to worry about him wanting me dead.
He walked to the door, opened it, and mumbled something I couldn’t make out, and then he left. I held my breath wondering what fate awaited me behind that door.
“You really did it this time.” I heard the accent before I saw the man. It was Petr, the man who brought me into the agency, my mentor and my first lover, the man who taught me how to kill. A wave of calm followed by apprehension washed over me. I wondered what was in the bag he was carrying. I’d seen him with a bag like that many times before when he needed to extract information he knew wouldn’t be given freely. Petr had disappeared years ago after I went out into the field, what was he doing here now? He was the master of wet work and taught me his skill. I preferred my kills up close and personal. I needed to make sure they were really dead and wouldn’t come back to haunt me sometime in the future.
Petr clicked his tongue in that scolding manner that reminded me of an angry hen and annoyed the hell out of me. I felt a rush of heat as he stood over me. I was helpless, but then I was always helpless in his presence. That was the kind of man he was, an enigma, as forceful and deadly as he was gentle. I would always be the student who could never eclipse her master or who wanted to. He smiled and his eyes crinkled at the corner. He had aged, we both had. I was no longer the naïve child, but I was still in awe of the man.
“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.” This was my favorite quote from Melville. No rainbows or sunshine just life stripped down to its basest level that expressed my determination to win at all costs. I felt like a fool when I started to cry. After all these years he had remembered. His accent wasn’t as thick as before but still present and in a way soothing. We had broken the cardinal rule teacher and student had become lovers.
He bent down and kissed me, the kiss was slow and deep and so familiar. If I hadn’t been on the bed I would have collapsed into a heap in his arms. He wiped the tears from my cheeks and whispered. “He’s going to die a very slow, painful death from an infection.” He kissed me again and I felt his hands release mine, then they slowly moved their way over my body until he reached my ankles. He was a master at slow sexual torture as well. I threw myself into his arms and he held me so tightly I almost couldn’t breathe. It felt like we had never parted.
“Get dressed.” He slapped me on the ass. I giggled and swayed still groggy from the drugs. He threw the bag at me. I looked inside… clothes.
“They’re just going to let me walk out of here?” I asked.
He turned and smiled. “They are going to let you walk out of here with me.”
I shrugged knowing better than to argue with him. I guess I had never lived my life, only survived it from assignment to assignment. Maybe now I would have a chance to live. This wouldn’t be the first time nor would it be the last I walked away from my life and everything in it.